How the General Election Announcement Impacts How You Can Publicise Your Grant

On 22 May 2024, Prime Minister of the UK, Rishi Sunak, announced the date of the next General Election. On 4 July 2024, elections will take place across the UK to determine the future composition of the House of Commons. The party that secures the most seats will then win control of UK Parliament.

What this means for The National Lottery Community Fund

Immediately before every election, there is a Period of Sensitivity. This places restrictions on the use of public resources and the activities of civil servants. “Public resources” includes National Lottery money, Dormant Assets money, and the third-party income we distribute as a funder. While essential business will continue at the Fund, including making grant decisions, as a Non-Departmental Public Body (NDPB), it is vital that we remain politically impartial.

Therefore, from 23 May until 5 July, we will not:

–          Announce new funding, programmes, partnerships, funding awards or publications.

–          Interact with politicians or candidates seeking re-election.

–          Promote the good work we have done/organisations we have supported.

–          Publish new evaluation reports.

–          Interact with or share content from grant holders on our digital or social media channels.

We will resume external communications activity when the Period of Sensitivity lifts after a new government is formed.

What this means for our grant holders

As a current grant holder, we know how important it is for you to celebrate how National Lottery funding supports the vital work you do in your community. While charities and funded organisations do not have to abide by the Period of Sensitivity in the same way the Fund does, there are still limitations on what you can do during this period.

The main thing you need to know is that if you have recently been awarded a grant, you must not publicly announce your new National Lottery funding before Thursday 4 July. This includes things like news articles or social media announcements. The Charity Commission issues its own guidance for charities on what  is deemed legal and good practice in the period  between the announcement of an election and the date the election is held. Please take the time to read and understand this guidance fully.

Read the Charity Commission’s guidance here.

What to do if you have any questions

The National Lottery Community Fund is unable to offer advice to grant holders on what is appropriate during a Period of Sensitivity. If you have any questions that are not covered in the guidance above, you should direct these to the Charity Commission’s dedicated Advice Team.

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